MPs debate leaving Commonwealth

Members of parliament backing President Mohamed Waheed Hassan have called on the state to withdraw the country’s membership from the Commonwealth, during a debate on a resolution forwarded today.

The resolution that sparked the debate was forwarded by Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Ibrahim ‘Bonda’ Rasheed, “condemning” the current government’s failure to adhere to the calls of Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) concluding statement on the Maldives, notably the call for early presidential elections in 2012.

The CMAG statement also noted that it will consider “further and stronger measures” against the Maldives unless the composition of its Committee of National Inquiry (CNI) was revised in the next four weeks.

Withdrawing Commonwealth membership

Speaking in the debate, Dhivehi Qaumee Party MP Riyaz Rasheed called for the Maldives to withdraw membership from the Commonwealth “for now”.

“We don’t want to, but there is no reason to have international relations with a group like this, who don’t even know to ensure justice,” he said. “I propose to disassociate  ourselves from the Commonwealth for now,” The MP said.

MP Rasheed has been highly critical of the Commonwealth and also Queen Elizabeth, who is the ceremonial head of the Commonwealth.

During a diatribe on DhiTV in March, he argued that the British public had funded the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) in return for the establishment of churches in the Maldives, and also alleged that the UK hated the Maldives for gaining its independence.

Rasheed went onto criticise Queen Elizabeth stating, “After 50 years, the English Queen, she is physically challenged. But she is still the Queen, and if she wants she can remove the Prime Minister. Where is democracy? Where is democracy? That is not a democracy.”

Also speaking in the debate, MP Muththalib from the government-allied and religiously conservative Adhaalath Party, said that international organisations should ensure that their calls fitted with the constitution of the country and Islamic virtue.”

“CMAG should not be a weapon used to destroy the religion [Islam] of this country. The United Nations and all the other international organisations including the United States and India have accepted this government, “ he claimed.

“I do not believe CMAG has any right to demand our country hold early elections. Also, we should consider those [countries] that do things for us,” he added.

Muththalib said he would fully support the Maldives’ withdrawal from the Commonwealth if the government of President Waheed Hassan felt it was in the best interests of the county.

“If the current government feels that disaffiliating with CMAG or the Commonwealth is what is best for this country, I am in full support for this Majlis to pass such a motion,” he reiterated.

Deputy Parliamentary Group leader of former president Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom’s Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM), Ilham Mohamed, stated that there were no stipulations in the Constitution calling for an early election, and that one could only be held after amending the constitution.

He argued that that the Maldives should “immediately” withdraw its membership with the Commonwealth.

“I am saying this very clearly. I call on President Mohamed Waheed Hassan, who is in charge of this state, to carry out what ever necessary measures that needs to be taken to disaffiliate from the Commonwealth. We are ready to part with Commonwealth,” MP Mohamed said.

MP Mohamed sent a warning to the current government stating that the the government decides to hold early elections, his party would withdraw its support to the government.

“Elections will be held on 2013. Or else we won’t be supporting the government. [No one] can hold an election before 2013. I am saying it very clearly. Be it Commonwealth or any other country that calls for it, no one can hold an early election,” he said.

MDP response

MDP MPs argued that the government should adhere to the calls of CMAG and that early elections should be held in 2012.

The opposition MPs also expressed concern that an inter-governmental organisation such as the Commonwealth had said that it would consider taking action against the Maldives.

Speaking in the debate, MDP MP Eva Abdulla, who was recently elected to the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU)’s standing committee on Women Parliamentarians, stated that CMAG did not represent the foreign ministers of just nine countries but rather the entire 54 countries of the Commonwealth.

MP Abdulla also stated that when government officials said that the members of CMAG did not even know the “skin colour” of the Maldivians, such a statement was also directed at individuals such as the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh.

“When we make such statements we are not harassing the Ministers, but our own peaceful relations with neighboring countries,” she said.

She also reiterated that if the Commonwealth suspended the Maldives, it would have a great impact on the ordinary citizens of the country.

MDP MP Abdul Ghafoor Moosa, of the Kulhudhuffushi North constituency, said that the Maldivian people had come to a “fork in the road” over the issue of early elections. He also stressed on the importance of adhering to the calls of Commonwealth.

“We don’t have the capacity to stand up against international bodies such as the Commonwealth, ASEAN and the SAARC. If we stay ignorant [of the calls of Commonwealth] in our greed for power, the ordinary citizens of this country will suffer,” Ghafoor said.

MDP MP Mohamed Riyaz during the debate expressed concern that some parliamentarians were accusing the Commonwealth of trying to destroy the Islamic faith of the Maldives. He also expressed concerns about possible impending Commonwealth action against the Maldives.

Earlier, President Waheed’s spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza told Minivan News that although the government was not currently seeking to reassess its Commonwealth membership, it was concerned over the language in the CMAG statement.

“We condemn the language used and the foreign minister has conveyed this as well,” he said. “If this language continues, we will look to consider our position [in the Commonwealth],” said Riza at the time.


24 thoughts on “MPs debate leaving Commonwealth”

  1. Agree 100% with this decision. This commonwealth was another name for the imperialists to have some say in other countries politics. There is absolutely nothing anybody can do to us by signing off from this last imperial signature of the Brits. Of course there will be a few tourist cancellations here and there but who needs the hard-up Brits when the Russians are around? Plus we have completely ignored the Islamic tourism. It seems we know about western tourism, and Chinese tourism (bargain hunters) but nothing about the wealthy middleeastern muslims.

  2. After reading this discussion about how some dimwit MPs want to withdraw Maldives from Commonwealth, I think the people of Maldives, with any common sense, should be more concerned than ever before to bring on early elections and save ourselves from these morons and a coward of a President who doesn't even have the mind or the guts to stand up to his Masters and just say that enough is enough! Now so that Riyaz, Nazim, Saleem, and their masters can get away with corruption, we the common people in this country are expected to suffer after withdrawing from Commonwealth? Riyaz is such a stupid person sprouting nonsense all the time that I can't believe that he is allowed to roam free, he should be examined by a psychiatrist and given medication to save him, from himself! Riyaz isn't thinking of Islamic faith when he waits happily without paying the debt he owes STO and the people of this country. Anyone who believes this guy must be equally stupid!

  3. Police Guy , you are ignorent like idiots in your illegal government, Your country survived on us the "Hard Up Brits " all this time , lets see how long will you go on with your new friends , i will put your comment on trip advisor tonight , it will be a great publicity , i petty you & idiots who has comment about our government in your parliament,One thing is certain you deserve the coup government you have now in place , MR.Nasheed is too good for a country filled with people such as your self, he is a global statement !

  4. These morons will call to withdraw from UN next.There is no better place for them than Tora Bora!

  5. let us have early elections and let us all support Dr Waheed against Nasheed and let us show the world how Nasheed is beaten. Just like PPM Shareef beat MDP Mustafa. And just like PPM Jabir defeating MDP Haleem.
    And Prosecutor please refrain from charging Nasheed in case his possible sentence prevents Nasheed from competing against Waheed and getting defeated. Let Nasheed taste failure at the ballot box.

  6. MP Riyaz,Muththalib,Ilham who are these people when they loose the seat they will be useless just like used napkins. don't think that people will accept you corrupted guys we all know who you are and your academic capacity your hunger for money

  7. Mohamed, yes agree, lets have early elections indeed and let's all accept the result as it turns out :)And hopefully the PG won't charge Nasheed if he wins the elections eh 😉

  8. No wonder!!! For a group of Dirty Politicians like the Power-hungry Gayyoo-Yaameen & their Boy Gasim, it would be the Most Difficult thing to ask the People if they are okay with them…this is the REALITY why Gayyoom’s Boy Ilham telling if Coup Leader Waheed agrees on an early ELECTION in 2012, they will no longer support Waheed

  9. And people still can't see this is about more than Nasheed and the MDP... This is about the future of a nation that tasted freedom only to be pulled back into the gutter by monkeys who are terrified by the idea of being free.

  10. Mohamed quite right. This govt should have the guts to hold elections n let the people decide. Waheed says he has 90 percent support so why fear elections. N if Maldivians want to elect a moronic govt like this the people would've fully deserved it.

  11. Riyaaz Rasheed pay your debts to the people first before talking democracy.18 million rufiyaa debt ofcourse withdrawn by STO very conveniently.

    keekey bunaanee raiyyithunge 18 million Rufiyaa vagannagaigen adhi ves aga hulhuvayey!!

  12. Those MP's who are calling for early lection is ignoring the constitution deliberately.
    Come to the real world people rather following the a cult leader of Kenereege Nasheed. Some of those who comment here are either ignorant or blunt.

  13. Halal Islamic tourism, indeed.
    On arrival westerners will be given a burqa and a beard which they will be forced to wear at all times.
    All resorts will force all tourists to pray 5 times a day and refrain from alcohol and pork.

    Maldives - naturally halaal 🙂

  14. A government for their own interests bereft of people's interest. blatent lies being manufactured to malign the man who embarked on taking Maldives to the world level as a developed nation. by hook or crook democracy is slaughtered to save their necks from the public exposure to be plain through the good governance and rapid development of Anni's government. A culture of neglect and siphoning off pubic funds are back with evengeance by pacifying through sponsorships the media, independent institutions, the judiciary and Majlis. Let's see what's God's will despite the arrogance and flexing of power at the open expense of justice. MAldives is not for the convenience of the few big shots. LEt peole say by vote.

  15. @shujau.
    What do you know about tourism? Tourism is about making profit, its not an ideology one follows blindly. so if a resort will naturally go for the guests who will generate more revenue. Its actually very simple. I am in the know about stats about bargain hunter guests and wealthy middle eastern guests. But the problem here is most resorts are not yet geared to middle eastern or islamic tourism in Maldives. but it doesn't mean its a small market.

  16. The choice is simple : whether we live in a free and democratic country, which is part of a free world outside, where people and in particular women and youth enjoy their life and have perspectives for a future.
    Whether we join Syria, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and of course Fiji, Burma ... ruled by sheikhs and big capital of true believers - blood shed on the streets every day - murdering people as Maumoon did already - women veiled and locked in as slaves again - kids forbidden to sing ! - no health care, water, power - impoverished ... but excellent friends with other dictators around ...

  17. The article only contains statements from both the government and opposition debating the desicion to part with the Commonwealth.

    There is no insight provided by them regarding the implications that would follow if such a departure was made from the Commonwealth.

    There is no insight of such provided by minivan news regarding the implications and consequences.

    Minivan news please publish an article to enlighten us readers after conducting some study.

    P.S Most of the readers dont seem to understand the subject well either. They are just spewing out fury back and forth rather than giving a constructive input. So lets study the matter.

  18. Zimbabwe, Pakistan and Fiji all survived without Commonwealth, we can also do so. Commonwealth is just like SAARC, another useless body to interfere with other countires internal affairs. Been in Commonwealth means that the Britons can tell you what to do but you cannot tell them what they should do. I say we take a vote within our public whether to stay with CW or not. If the public decided to stay with them, we should all respect the vote, if they vote to leave it, then too we should respect the public decision, but I doubt MDP would digest a no vote. Those terrorists have a different view in everything eventhough they call themselves Maldives Democratic party. Lol it should be rather called Maldives Destructive Party

  19. Commonwealth is as irrelevant as the British Queen.
    The only purpose served by CW is keeping people like Dr. Shaheed employed.


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